Fanconi anemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes a decreased number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets (pancytopenia) and that can also result in birth defects and an increased risk of cancer. The disease may also cause problems with the heart or kidneys and abnormalities of the arms and legs.
Children and adults with Fanconi anemia usually are short in height and have delayed growth. Other common problems include bleeding episodes and easy bruising, hormonal problems, and infertility.
Fanconi anemia is usually diagnosed during childhood, and many children with this disease do not survive beyond young adulthood.
There is no treatment for the cause of Fanconi anemia. Support groups and counselling may be helpful for families of children with Fanconi anemia. Genetic testing is recommended to identify carriers of the disease and help guide decisions about having children.
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Patrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine